After starting the Easter weekend with three points at Oldham, can Boro’ double up and continue our rise higher into the top half? From bottom of the table just the other side of Christmas to within earshot of the playoffs with only seven games left; our turnaround is simply divine. And you’d like to hope we’re not done yet. Of course, any talk of going up can’t be taken too seriously. But how we end this campaign could go a long way when it comes to next season. That said, let’s deal with the Bantams in the here and now first…
The Details: Stevenage v Bradford City
Where’s the game?
Ah, where better to spend a bank holiday Monday afternoon than back at the homestead? It’s the Lamex for this one. And here’s to home comforts hopefully giving us the vital edge.
Can I watch Stevenage v Bradford City?
Just £10 is all it takes to get you a virtual spot on the East Terrace gantry for the arrival of the Bantams. With an iFollow Match Pass, you’ll be able to watch and see if we can keep the home fires burning bright as we make a dash for the current campaign’s finishing line.
How is Boro’s form looking at the moment?
After the weekend’s results, we now sit second in the League Two form table; earning 18 points from a potential 24. Only Bolton Wanderers can top that (20) and that’s why we sit five points outside the top seven. Now, that doesn’t take into account the fixtures in hand still to be played by those around us. But we can at least start saying that we’re definitely safe from relegation. The maths there are all but on our side.
With victory at Boundary Park, Boro’ turned the goal difference positive and stormed past the 50-point milestone. Now, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. But there’s at least one place to be gained if we can defeat the Bantams; the West Yorkshire team sitting two points above us as things stand. Our guests need to find a way through what still remains the second-best defence in the division to scupper that. Hold firm, lads…
… and how are the Bantams doing right now?
First, the Bantams are no mugs. At one point, they were sliding down the table and found themselves on the verge of the relegation mess. But they’ve since pulled clear and are an intriguing opposition. They come to us after two straight wins. So, how much can we read into them? One was away to Colchester United, while the other was a trick that we pulled ourselves; thrashing Forest Green indoors. Before that, their form was somewhat patchy.
A haul of 11 points from a potential 24 is right in the middle of the League Two form table; five games without a win before their recent double keeping their return lower than they’d no doubt like. On the road, they’ve collected 24 points from 19 away days. It’s not shabby, but it’s not bad either. So, we can’t afford to see this as a foregone conclusion. In terms of goals for and against, 44 to 42 in their favour is neither here nor there either.
It’s all to play for and it’s shaping up to be an interesting match-up.
Our story with Bradford City so far
After the misery of the 2019-20 season, the current campaign started so brightly for Boro’. But our trip to Valley Parade in late September properly knocked us off our stride amid an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club. Elliott List’s first half goal put us ahead at the break. But the Bantams fought back to claim the points. And we didn’t manage to win another match for nearly two months. Who knew losing to Bradford could have such dire consequences?
Letting a half-time lead slip against the Bantams isn’t anything new, it seems. It happened on our previous visit to Valley Parade too; Charlie Carter putting us in front, before we slid to yet another defeat not long before the 2019-20 season came to an abrupt end. And it’s not only at theirs it happens either. Our 1-1 home draw in August 2013 is another case in point. We’ve also won one apiece at the Lamex. And it’s our turn to come out on top here.
Last Time Out: Bradford City 2-1 Stevenage, 26 September 2020
Who’s the referee in charge?
Few refs on the Football League circuit have what you can claim to be a self-evident truth as their surname. But that’s where Mr Boyeson is different. After all, aren’t all boys a “son” at some point? As you might’ve guessed, we’re on a huge sugar high right now.
And that’s clearly distracting us.
Mr Boyeson is a ref we’ve had on five previous occasions. Four times have been while on the road. And all four ended in the defeat. The other one was obviously at home. And that ended nicely in our favour; Boro’ winning 3-0 against Carlisle United almost two years ago. The moral of the story? If we’re at home and Mr Boyeson is at home, we should be alright.
So far this season, the East Riding ref has taken charge of 24 matches; this one making it a round quarter century for him. In those appearances, he’s dished out 88 yellow cards (at an average of 3.67 per game) and sent one lad off. With all these cards to his name, you’ll not be surprised to learn he hasn’t gone one game without booking at least someone.
Last Time Out: Cheltenham Town 4-2 Stevenage, 07 September 2019
Stevenage v Bradford City: Our verdict?
We can’t help but think the Bantams are going to be a pain in the proverbial. But that’s not us flying the white flag in surrender. Boro’ are more than equipped for the fight; drawing on the quality and confidence we have to keep the unbeaten run going. All square for us: 1-1.